Friday, March 15, 2013
Frugal Friday: Be Frugal With Your Time
Did you know that there are more ways to be frugal than just with money?
Did you know that you can be frugal with your time?
I guess the experts call it "time management", lol!
1. Don't Overcommit!
It is so, so easy, especially as homeschooling mothers to commit to everything under the sun that is offered. Now I know why we do this- for fear of our children missing out, for fear that our children won't be "socialized", for fear we may be stifling a creativity in our child that we can't meet by ourselves, etc. But, really it is a recipe for burnout for you and your child. They probably won't like running around all the time either. Instead, just choose, or better even let your child choose with you what their activities will be and you choose what your own activities will be. My motto has been that if I can't commit 100% to something then I just won't commit at all. It's frustrating to myself and others to only commit to something that I only half-heartedly devote myself to doing.
Now, I'm using "multitask" very loosely here. If multitasking for you means that you eat lunch while checking email, or you catch up on a little rest while you're nursing the baby to sleep, then that's perfect. Because, personally, my days of trying to nurse the baby while cooking dinner while grading a math test while starting laundry while paying a bill while bathing the toddler are over. I delegate to other children and only accomplish maybe two things at a time. Maybe it's too many years of trying to do too much at once, or maybe it's just old age creeping in.
3. Combine Errands!
Whenever I know I have several errands to run, I try to combine as many things as possible. I also try to take the shortest route possible. That cuts down on time and gas. I also try to take at least a child or two if I have the option of leaving some at home, so that I can get some quality time, too. For instance, if I know I need to go to the post office and Sam's is on the way, and I know I need toilet paper by the end of the week, I'll go ahead and stop in Sam's and get it. That way I've already saved myself one extra trip that week.
4. Use Breaks Wisely!
If the kids need a ten minute break from schoolwork to jump on the trampoline, then that gives me ten minutes to start some laundry, start lunch, or change a diaper. Now, I know there are times just to sit for that ten minutes and put your feet up, but if you have the energy, that's a great time to knock out a task or two. Even if you watch tv (I like to watch Biggest Loser and Undercover Boss each week) then get up on commercials and fold laundry or wash some dishes. A lot can get done in a 4 or 5 minute commercial break!
5. Set Goals!
I'm a driven person, so sometimes I've been known to be a little too lofty with my goals. But, I've learned realistically what I can accomplish while still allowing myself to focus on my God-given priorities-Bible study, my husband, my children, my home. Now many (well, most) of my goals revolve around those things in some way. Normally I don't even write the goals out, unless there are details that I need to remember. If it helps you to write them out, then do that. I just keep them in mind during the day or week. If at this time in your life your goals are to just keep the children somewhat clothed and make dinner for your husband, well those are goals. And, when you accomplish them, set more. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself. You can look back and think, "Wow, I accomplished my goals!" That may be what you need to persevere!
There are lots more ways to be frugal with your time. Do you have any good ideas for "time management"?